All work suspended inside Fukushima plant due to high radiation

Radioactive iodine has been found in the seawater near the plant measured at 1,250 times the normal level, forcing all work at the plant to stop.

­Radioactive iodine has been found in the seawater near the plant measured at 1,250 times the normal level, forcing all work at the plant to stop.

This particular level of radiation was detected only 300 meters away from the plant; however, the iodine level in seawater exceeds the norm within the 30km radius from the sight of the disaster.

This most likely comes from a combination of both airborne radiation released from the reactors and contaminated water leaked into the sea.

This is the highest level of radiation detected in the last week, but the amount poses no immediate health risk, officials claim.

However, the Japanese government has asked people living within 30 kilometers of the plant to voluntarily leave the area. Otherwise, they are advised to stay indoors to minimize exposure to radiation.

Due to the high level of radiation, active repair and cooling attempts from within the plant cannot be restored at the moment, the officials said.

It is expected that attempts to cool the overheated reactors will continue with external water jets.

Japan’s top government spokesman Yukio Edano said Saturday it is difficult to predict when the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant would end.

As for the future of the crisis, Edano said, ”The current situation is that we are preventing it from worsening.” He added the situation still requires ”an enormous amount of work’‘ before it will settle down.

A similar announcement was made by Japan’s Prime Minister Kan on Friday, when he said that overcoming the worst crisis in Japan’s post-war history will require the efforts of all Japanese people.

Also, it was announced on Friday that the radiation level at the plant itself is 10,000 times higher than normal. The repair work was also stopped when three workers were exposed to dangerous materials.

It has been over two weeks since the devastating earthquake and tsunami, with workers still trying to restore the cooling systems at the stricken Fukushima facility.

Nuclear energy experts say the damage caused to the site is already having dangerous effects on the environment and the health of locals.

As a result of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, the cooling systems at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant shut off, followed by a series of explosions.

Heightened levels of radiation were discovered in food produced in Fukushima prefecture, and agricultural products from Fukushima were withdrawn from sales.

Meanwhile, the official death toll in Japan reached 10,418 on Saturday, while more than 17,000 are still listed as missing.

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